OTTAWA, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Today UNICEF welcomed the Canadian government's generous commitment of $8 million to address the education and protection needs of conflict-affected children in Iraq. This contribution to UNICEF's work will support the No Lost Generation initiative by reaching as many as 200,000 Iraqi children.
"Caught between two brutal conflicts, these children are at risk of becoming a lost generation – without the skills they need to rebuild their lives and their societies, or the desire for reconciliation that will drive them to do so," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "That is why investing in educating the minds and healing the hearts of Iraqi and Syrian children is both a humanitarian priority and a strategic imperative – and why Canada's generous support of the No Lost Generation initiative is so critically important. Their futures depend on it."
Canada's commitment of $8 million to UNICEF will provide education, protection and social cohesion support to at-risk children in Iraq where an estimated one million children are at risk.
"Children are the innocent victims of this crisis and our top priority is to protect their safety and well-being while making sure their futures are not casualties of this conflict," says David Morley, UNICEF Canada's President and CEO. "Canada's commitment today will provide critical support for children in Iraq who are living in unimaginable circumstances and experiencing fear no child should have to endure. Canada's $8 million, along with the $1.7 million donated to UNICEF by Canadians for this crisis reflect the generosity of Canada in supporting some of the world's most vulnerable children."
- Since 2014, more than 1.8 million Iraqis have been violently uprooted from their homes due to the ongoing conflict. This leaves about 900,000 Iraqi children in desperate need of assistance.
- Iraq is also hosting nearly 100,000 Syrian refugee children, bringing the total number of at risk children to nearly one million.
- These children are caught in a cycle of severe hardship, facing violence and abuse and with limited access to essential services.
- The Iraq No Lost Generation approach is community based, and will channel resources directly to communities empowering them to maximize children's opportunities to recover from continuing trauma for years to come.
UNICEF will program this $8 million commitment to reach at risk children in Iraq:
This project will work directly with children and families to meet basic needs and invest in strengthening government service delivery to children at risk and their families. With this $8 million commitment, UNICEF aims to reach up to 200,000 children at risk in the following ways:
- Education: 3,600 children have access to quality primary education and 150,000 displaced children (refugees and IDPs) benefit from government-approved catch-up classes and other learning opportunities.
- Protection: 6,000 children in camps and within host communities have access to protection services for optimal physical and emotional health and development.
- Social Cohesion: children in four communities affected by displacement will benefit from activities that promote advanced social cohesion within and between communities.
About No Lost Generation
No Lost Generation is an initiative by the United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations, and governments, to alleviate the impact of the Syrian crisis on children's learning and psychological wellbeing and address the potential long-term consequences for a generation of children and young people in Syria and neighbouring countries. Launched in October 2013, it aims to expand access to education, increase psychosocial support, strengthen child protection, bolster social cohesion and promote peace building so that the children of Syria can build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. A summary of the No Lost Generation one year report can be found here.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.
SOURCE: UNICEF Canada
For further information: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), [email protected]